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Moving and resizing a chart

From: Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

Video: Moving and resizing a chart

When you're using a chart that's on a worksheet, or possibly many charts on a worksheet as we see in this example in this particular worksheet called YearData, there are four different charts here. Now you've got complete control over the placement of the charts. You can move a chart. Any of these charts can be moved to any position you want simply by dragging a border. You can resize a chart. You can make a copy of a chart. All these things we need to be able to do. These are actually dragging choices that we don't actually use a menu on. So let's just click, for example, in this chart here, as I just did. I want to move this chart to the right of the pie chart.

Moving and resizing a chart

When you're using a chart that's on a worksheet, or possibly many charts on a worksheet as we see in this example in this particular worksheet called YearData, there are four different charts here. Now you've got complete control over the placement of the charts. You can move a chart. Any of these charts can be moved to any position you want simply by dragging a border. You can resize a chart. You can make a copy of a chart. All these things we need to be able to do. These are actually dragging choices that we don't actually use a menu on. So let's just click, for example, in this chart here, as I just did. I want to move this chart to the right of the pie chart.

Now you can drag from anywhere in the chart area, but sometimes when you're doing this you happen to click on the wrong spot. So if I happened to click here and drag-- maybe I am kind of in hurry when I do this-- I'm moving the Plot area. Or maybe if I did this, I'm moving the legend or something. You can do that, and sometimes you want to do that. But if you want to move the chart--let me press Ctrl+Z a couple of times to undo those actions. It's probably easiest to get in the habit, after selecting the chart, to simply drag one of the borders, and you drag it right, left, down, upright, wherever you want to.

I want to move the pie chart leftward. I'll drag its border. And you can do it in one fluid action. You can both select it and drag it at the same time if you wish. Sometimes you want to resize a chart. For example, I might want to move this chart over here a bit and then make it larger, because I don't think I can see the detail enough. And maybe for whatever reason as I make it larger, how do we do that? We can drag any corner-- when you put the mouse on a corner you'll see a diagonal arrow--or a side--you either see a horizontal arrow this way, vertical arrow down here.

We can make this chart taller, shorter. We can make it wider or narrower or drag it from the corner. As we drag from the corner, we could possibly make it wider or taller or and so on. And if you worked with objects at all in either Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, these are familiar techniques that you've probably used already. If you want to maintain the same ratio of height to width, it's called the aspect ratio, as you drag one of the corners, you can also hold down the Shift key. So as I'm dragging this corner here back and forth, I cannot make it wider without it getting taller, or narrower without it getting shorter.

So I'm holding down Shift as I'm dragging the corner and when I let go of the mouse it will have got larger or smaller, but the proportion of height to width will have stayed the same. Now rarely but occasionally you might want to make a chart larger or smaller and keep it around the same center. I think you're more likely to want to do that with objects, but if we drag any edge or corner here and we're holding down the Ctrl key, we're going to be making this taller, smaller, but the same center is here. Now I'm just moving the mouse here like I've got nothing else to do, but I'm holding down the Ctrl key, and you see what could be happening.

If I let go with the mouse before the keyboard, I will have resized this in whatever way I want to. So sometimes that's relevant. Perhaps more relevant though is the idea that if you have a certain idea that this should look a little neater and tidier in terms of layout, you might want to have the edges of the chart line up with the cell boundaries in the worksheet. I'd suggest doing this on corners rather than sides, but you can do it either way. As I drag this corner here, I can take it anywhere I want. But if I hold down the Alt key while doing this, it only lets the borders line up with cell boundaries.

So I did it there. Click outside this; you'll see what it has done. You'll see that it's just perfect. I'll do the lower-left corner as well, maybe right here. Move this around anywhere I want, but if I'm holding down the Alt key, it's going to line up perfectly this way. So maybe I want to do that, or maybe take it down to here. I'm thinking of the other charts, and so on. This is little tedious maybe, but it does give you a quick way to do that. Maybe I'll do it this way. So I'm dragging an edge, any edge or corner, holding down the Alt key, makes the edges of the chart line up perfectly with the cell boundaries. And any of these techniques that we use with the Alt key, Ctrl key, or Shift key be sure to let go with the mouse first before the actual key itself for the feature to in effect stay.

And one other feature here, too, is we've already talked about moving, but sometimes you want to make a copy of a chart, and once you have become familiar with how easy it is to change a chart type, sometimes you say well, okay I like this chart, but I'd also like to have a column chart next to it. Why don't we just drag the edge of this chart over here, but this time be holding down the Ctrl key, as I'm doing right now. Drag it over here. Let go with the mouse. There's a copy. We don't want to keep two identical charts here, so we'll simply change, by way of the Design Tab, change the Chart Type of this one to maybe something completely different, maybe one of these here, which I don't really like, but the idea is you can easily copy a chart and possibly change the chart type.

And if the chart that you drag that did have a lot of labels on it already, a lot of text information, that's going to go with it as it did here, although we didn't have a lot going on at that point, but still, that's going to happen as well. So no shortage of techniques, generally dragging techniques they are called for copying charts, moving charts, and/or adjusting the size of charts on a worksheet.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2007: Charts in Depth
Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

53 video lessons · 9360 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 22m 7s
    1. Identifying chart elements like plot area, chart area, gridlines, and legends
      5m 3s
    2. Selecting the right chart type
      8m 2s
    3. Understanding chart terminology
      6m 31s
    4. Understanding the Ribbon and the Design, Layout, and Format tabs
      2m 31s
  3. 16m 24s
    1. Selecting data to display as a chart
      6m 17s
    2. Creating charts instantly with shortcuts
      4m 33s
    3. Creating charts with standard menu commands
      2m 24s
    4. Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments
      3m 10s
  4. 28m 8s
    1. Switching rows and columns for a different view of the data
      3m 9s
    2. Setting a default chart type and creating a template
      3m 47s
    3. Dealing with empty and hidden cells
      4m 18s
    4. Choosing a chart layout
      4m 33s
    5. Choosing a chart style from 48 colorful variations
      3m 34s
    6. Changing the location of a chart
      3m 33s
    7. Moving and resizing a chart
      5m 14s
  5. 11m 25s
    1. Using pictures as chart elements
      3m 55s
    2. Adding shapes and arrows
      3m 37s
    3. Adding floating text and text boxes
      3m 53s
  6. 33m 45s
    1. Adding, editing, and removing chart titles
      3m 15s
    2. Adding horizontal and vertical titles
      3m 56s
    3. Linking titles to content
      2m 32s
    4. Showing numbers of different scales
      4m 38s
    5. Specifying the position of tick marks and axis labels
      2m 41s
    6. Changing the numeric format on labels
      5m 34s
    7. Adding, editing, and removing legends
      3m 19s
    8. Adding and editing data labels
      4m 40s
    9. Showing the source of a chart's data
      3m 10s
  7. 8m 13s
    1. Modifying axis scaling
      3m 50s
    2. Working with gridlines
      4m 23s
  8. 12m 53s
    1. Analyzing existing and future data with trendlines
      4m 2s
    2. Adding drop lines
      3m 14s
    3. Adding high-low lines and up-down bars
      1m 39s
    4. Adding error bars
      3m 58s
  9. 9m 13s
    1. Selecting shape fill and outline
      3m 3s
    2. Adding shape effects
      3m 19s
    3. Applying WordArt styles
      2m 51s
  10. 16m 33s
    1. Formatting lines and borders
      4m 24s
    2. Filling an area with a color gradient
      2m 7s
    3. Specifying line style, color, and weight
      2m 46s
    4. Working with chart text
      3m 40s
    5. Changing the rotation of chart text
      3m 36s
  11. 38m 39s
    1. Using column and bar charts
      7m 24s
    2. Using line charts
      5m 46s
    3. Using pie charts
      8m 37s
    4. Using area, stock, and XY charts
      9m 3s
    5. Using doughnut, bubble, and radar charts
      7m 49s
  12. 10m 55s
    1. Pasting new data into a chart
      2m 58s
    2. Creating charts from multiple data sources
      3m 39s
    3. Adding new data using a table
      4m 18s
  13. 6m 19s
    1. Printing charts
      6m 19s
  14. 19s
    1. Next steps
      19s

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